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This Father-Daughter Team is Taking on the Dakar Classic :: Video of the Week

The Dakar Rally wraps up this week as competitors head toward the finish line today in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. If all goes well, spectators will witness a 3.2-liter 1986 Porsche 911, piloted by 21-year-old Puck Klaassen, crossing the line. She and her father, Sebastiaan, 53, teamed up at the last minute to compete in the Dakar Classic class which, since 2021, is open to vehicles manufactured before 2000 or built to original pre-2000 specifications.

“We decided only four months ago that we were going to do Dakar, so it was very last minute, but we’re having so much fun,” Puck said about her rally experience so far. Originally from the Netherlands but based in South Africa for over a decade, this father-daughter duo has a passion for competitive motocross. A leg injury allowed Puck to transition from two wheels to four. “I am a complete rookie with a big passion for cars,” she says. “Especially old classic cars. It’s my dream to do something as cool as this with my dad navigating me through it and being on this journey with me.”

Of course, like any father and daughter, the two get on each other’s nerves. “His best quality? Not his patience,” Puck laughs. Sebastiaan admits he tends to get involved in the driving part, which can anger his daughter. But, overall, the goal is to have fun. “If she does well, we might look at the real Dakar for her in 2025,” Sebastiaan says. “I have zero experience as a navigator, but I have done years of rally driving, so I guess the learning will progress as we go.”

While getting stuck in the dunes would be problematic for some, Puck says those are her favorite days. “I thought I would be exhausted and finished every day, but I have a lot of energy because the whole vibe of the bivouac is cooler than I ever thought it would be.” Her father agrees. “It’s cooler than I expected. You feel alive every day.”

Follow Team #708’s progress at dakar.com.

Read more: Dakar Rally 2024 Off to a Rough Start

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Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash